Alice In Chains – Brother – Jerry Cantrell Builds A Bridge

In 1992 Alice In Chains released their first studio EP, Sap, named for a dream had by drummer Sean Kinney. Following their tour for Facelift they originally intended to record a full LP, but opted instead to tape five acoustic songs. The songs “Brother” and “Am I Inside” feature accompanying chorus vocals by Ann Wilson of Heart. Mark Arm of Mudhoney and Chris Cornell joined AIC for the song “Right Turn” which they credited to “Alice Mudgarden” a play on the combination of Alice In Chains, Mudhoney and Soundgarden.

“Brother,” with its wistful intro and curiously dissonant but elegant harmonies, was the album’s most dynamically persuasive musical statement. In the liner notes to the box set compilation Music Bank Jerry Cantrell said of the song, “Ours was a divorced family, I was the older brother and we had a sister Cheri in the middle. As you know, when you’re a kid there’s no way you wanna hang out with your four-year-younger brother. You’ll take care of the guy if someone’s trying to kick his ass, but other than that you don’t wanna know. I think I was really hard on him, especially without my father around. David had nobody, he split to live with my Dad and we didn’t see much of each other for a good 6 or 7 years. That song was about the time we were apart, and like ‘Rooster’ was my dad, it was a way of trying to build a bridge.”

“Frozen in the place I hide
Not afraid to paint my sky with
Some who say I’ve lost my mind
Brother try and hope to find

You were always so far away
I know that pain so don’t you run away
Like you used to do

Roses in a vase of white
Bloodied by the thorns beside the leaves
That fall because my hand is
Pulling them hard as I can

You were always so far away
I know that pain and I won’t run away
Like I used to do
Pictures in a box at home
Yellowing and green with mold
So I can barely see your face
Wonder how that color taste

You were always so far away
I know the way so don’t you run away
Like you used to do
Like you used to do.”